Practicing for my first 5K

This morning I did a practice 5K before my RNLI 5K race on Sunday. I ran 3.1 miles without stopping, not even for traffic lights (at traffic lights that were red I ran down to the next one until it wasn’t red or it was clear to go) and I tried to ensure my pace didn’t slip above 10 min miles. I actually find it really hard to stay at one pace and my speed tends to fluctuate throughout each mile. For today’s practice run I tried to stay between 9 and 9.45 min miles, the pace I am hoping to stick to on Sunday. I am aiming for a sub 30 min 5K. I know that isn’t fast but I think it is a realistic goal for me. I would be so pleased if I achieved it, even if I finish in 29.59!
Sunday’s 5K for the RNLI is my first real race that I’ve even done a slight bit of training for. I’m counting it as my first real race as I certainly did not take the 8K race, that I did with Char, 2 years ago very seriously at all! I think we walked quite a lot of it and pretty much sprinted the last downhill mile!
I felt pretty good starting out this morning at 7 am on the dot with my new ipod arm band (so pleasing). It was colder than it has been on previous runs and I felt my lungs constricting a bit with each breath. The first 2 miles I found it pretty easy to keep my pace below 10, although towards the end of the second mile I looked down and saw the time creeping up. During the third mile my pace fluctuated a lot from under 8 mins (!!!) to 12 mins at one point. I really had to pick up the pace at the end to ensure that I finished the mile in under 10 mins.
My splits were;
Mile 1: 9.25
Mile 2: 9.29
Mile 3: 9.26
Not quite negative splits but I’m working on it. Hopefully a finishing line will encourage a super speedy finish on Sunday. I found finishing quite tough today and felt a bit sick once I started walking, I think this may be due to dehydration. I find it pretty difficult to drink enough water before my early morning runs, too much and it sloshes around in my stomach, too little and I really struggle after about 2 miles. I think I will have to start taking water with me during my early runs. At least this shouldn’t be a problem on Sunday as I will have plenty of time to drink up before my run, plus I am pretty sure there’s a water station on the course. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the race that I manage a good time and most importantly, that I enjoy it!
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